In early December 2012 my travels took me to our nation’s capital for the Every Body Walk! Summit. This was a very exciting meeting that was organized by Kaiser Permanente, along with leaders from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the American College of Sports Medicine, along with groups such as Safe Routes to School and America Walks. It was held at the Kaiser Permanente Center for Total Health located just a couple blocks from the capital. The purpose of the meeting was to help catalyze national efforts that will increase walking and walkability throughout the nation.

The highlight of the meeting was the speech by US Surgeon General, Dr Regina Benjamin, in which she issued a Surgeon General’s Call to Action to get America Walking! She issued this Call to Action based on the mountains of evidence that proves walking is a powerful medicine that can improve health and extend life. In fact, CDC Director Dr Tom Frieden recently said that walking is the most powerful medication known to man and the single most important thing one can do for their health. It is exciting to have our nation’s top doctor and the director of our nation’s most respected agency on health and disease come out strongly to advocate for what we have been saying for a couple years now – Every Body Walk!

So if you were not convinced before that walking was the single best thing you can do for your health, I hope advice from the Surgeon General and CDC Director will bring you around. And the Every Body Walk! website has lots of great educational materials and tools to help you get more active. Perhaps you should try using a pedometer – we have a video to explain how to use it and shoot for a goal of 8,000-10,000 steps each day. Maybe download our Every Body Walk! smartphone app – it will help you keep track of your walking. Or perhaps you might consider adopting a dog that will accompany you on your walks. We have a great video about dog walking that explains how people who own dogs walk more and tend to live longer than those who don’t have one.

Keep on walking my friends.